by Joe Giambrone
**Contains Adult Language**
Total Information Awareness
Hey online film-streaming websites: f*ck You.
I'm the customer here. This is my decision. You don't get to have my personal information to store forever and aggregate and analyze and sell to third parties, and try and sell me crap I don't want for the rest of my life, and hand over to governments, or organized crime, or pornographers, or anybody else. What movies I watch are my business. What websites I peruse are my concern. Suck on that.
These next-gen marketing gurus would have you believe that access to your entire personal life is a good tradeoff for some convenience. They play to the basest instincts of their targets in these predatory schemes. Mostly they want one thing: MORE. More information. More money. More sales. More leverage, over you. More integration with other businesses -- and with the government, of course. In this case, more for them is less privacy for you. Your life is an open digital book to be exploited by savvy carnivores with goatees and laptops.
Facebook is Big Bro's central hub today. Combine with Google search capabilities, and your private life is probably no longer in existence. These private for-profit corporations have infiltrated peoples' personal spaces, and their machinations are insidious and in the background much of the time. As Facebook has repeatedly demonstrated, it can simply change its legal boilerplate, its Terms of Service, any time it wishes, and few of the hundreds of millions will actually close out their accounts. These boiled frogs continue divulging all the most intimate aspects of their lives to a greed-centered corporation, which is surveilling them 24/7.
Google was in the news recently for allegedly standing up for gmail users' privacy and requiring "cops to get a warrant." Of course the plot thickens down deeper in the article, where: "It's unclear how many of the subpoenas or warrants Google complied with--the company has only said it complied in part or in full to 88 percent of total requests from American authorities." (Ars Technica) A subpoena is not a warrant, and it has no judicial oversight.
Dark Empire MicroSoft is in on the game too. My own email is apparently being read by their marketing robots. I've used the Hotmail account to back up a new novel I'm working on, by attaching the file and sending it to myself. But recently, on the intrusive side-bar advertisements forced on me by the Hotmail/Outlook website, I've noticed some odd pitches. Am I in the market for a crossbow? Perhaps a bow is relevant in the novel, which MicroSoft has stored on its servers, but I do believe the digital empire has tipped its hand.
But, of course, these are the infant stages of a "Total Information Awareness" society. People have essentially given over to private corporations what was the National Security Agency's unlawful wet dream under Donald Rumsfeld.
It doesn't take a highly-paid screenwriter to ponder over the implications of having your entire life splattered up on web servers. Your past, your associations, your future movements, everything just sitting there for software to piece together in the background -- is no one concerned about the abuses that are surely coming?
Generation Mindless-Tapping doesn't seem too concerned over much, unless their drunken nude photos end up at a job interview. The political repression of dissidents has never entered their inane streams of monosyllabic gibberish. Perhaps they'll grow up in a couple of years as social conditions here continue to deteriorate under bi-partisan "austerity."
Ah -- but then it will be too late. Techno-Fascism is something I've been talking about since the mid 1990s. It's here. It hasn't gone full-blown yet, but everything required for turn-key totalitarianism is developed, tested, proven and in use pretty much all over the developed world. Thus this widespread turn to "austerity", as the common rabble cannot credibly fight back. We are under complete surveillance and disempowered as a result.
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